4) Dream Red Sox trade deadline candidate: Eduardo Rodriguez
Let’s go romantic. The first six seasons of Eduardo Rodriguez’s career was spent with the Red Sox. Through some lean years and some much better ones, he entered free agency after the 2021 campaign riding high. It earned him a five-year contract worth $77 million. Not too shabby for a guy who owned a career 4.16 ERA at the time.
Rodriguez is now with the Detroit Tigers, albeit currently on the IL, where he has gone 4-4 with a 2.13 ERA in 11 starts. If not for the player option on his contract this year, he’d probably remain in Detroit as they look to build around him. Since he has pitched so well this year, only an unhealthy remainder of the 2023 season may be enough to convince him to opt-out.
What does this have to do with the Red Sox? Like Stroman, the Tigers may need to curb their expectations for what they can get back for him. He may be nothing more than a rental. He could become a payroll burden. Either way, he’s the kind of pitcher the Red Sox can afford in a trade without having to sell the farm.
Rodriguez may be a case of a guy developing a little later than expected. It’s not unusual to see a starting pitcher wait until he hits his 30s to become a real ace. It’s what Rodriguez had looked like this season prior to landing on the IL. Reunions can always be dreamy. This one could definitely give the Red Sox a much-needed upgrade in the rotation.